‘Send me back to Africa’ – a unique response to racism

I CARE – – News – Internet Centre Anti Racism Europe – 20/7/2016- “Put your money where your hate is.” This is the phrase being used by a crowdfunding campaign, currently going viral, which is being seen as a unique response to racism. The campaign seems to take racists at face value, and asks for donations in order for its black founder to be able to go “back to Africa.” Larry Mitchell, an African-American man from Kokomo, Indiana, started the clearly ironic GoFundMe petition, and has had his page shared more than 30,000 times on various social media platforms. In the blurb for the petition Mitchell wrote: “If you want me to go back to Africa I will gladly go… you can help make your dream and mine come true… accepting all donations. KKK, Skin Heads and anyone else with like mind thinking are welcome to donate… Thank you.. God bless you and America… #putyourmoneywhereyourhateis.” “The petition started as a joke,” Mitchell, an aspiring chef, told BBC Trending. “I was reading articles following the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile [black men killed in recent incidents involving US police], and there were comments underneath saying ‘these black people should go back to Africa’, so I started the petition to say ‘fine I will if you pay for it’.” Mitchell has, at the time of writing, raised around $1,300 of his $100,000 target. Some of those donating money do, in fact, seem to hold racist views and have taken the campaign at face value. A man named Howard McFonsworth donated $5 and accompanied it with the words “good bye” and a highly offensive racist slur. A user named “fedup whiteguy” also donated $5 and said “you better not come back”. However, it seemed most people were in on the joke. A user named David Woo told Mitchell to take the money and enjoy it on a holiday, writing, “I am not a racist, but would love for you to go on some travels and experience the world. Have fun, man!!” Jackson Lam agreed; “Hahaha! Love it. You’re genius. Enjoy the trip, but do please come back – we need more clever ideas to solve our complex problems.” The majority of the comments were supportive, letting Mitchell know that he was welcome in America, and that they found his method of illustrating racial tensions in America refreshing. The petition, which was started at the start of July, comes at a time of particular racial tension in the United States, following the recent killings of two black men by police and five police officers by a black gunman at protests in Dallas.

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